Our Curriculum & Teaching Philosophy:
I believe the best education is the one where students are allowed to come to their own discoveries through guided personalized instruction. Of course, this is why I love home-schooling!
I use a Classical curriculum- with an emphasis on history, classical/canonical literature, culture and civilization as well as foundational philosophy focused on God, virtue, and humanity all utilizing language (written and spoken) as the primary method to express mastery in conjunction with applications based assessments.
What does this mean?- Your child will learn to read Classical texts on a deeply personal level and be able to express their understanding of the text in relation to the history, cultural, and social aspects of the lives of the people in the text through their own writing. They will then make connections to their own lives through projects that require them to apply their new knowledge.
When students study the classics and develop intellectual skills, like Socratic thinking, they become equipped to think critically. The study of the classics helps 21st century students gain fundamental life skills from open-mindedness to elasticity of thought.
This means I take the time to get to know each student, their interests, and their abilities. Students set the pace for their learning based on their abilities and interests.
I teach students how to think critically about a topic, how to express their ideas about that topic, and how to apply it to their 21st century lives.
I believe the best way to achieve this is through student-driven discussions, student-centered education plans, interdisciplinary project based learning activities, and applications based assessments.
What if your child is diagnosed with ADHD, is on the Autism Spectrum, or has a Learning Difference that makes reading or writing difficult? Perfect! I love learning differences. Every child can master reading and writing. Literacy is not for a select few. Teaching students with learning differences is both challenging and rewarding. It may be a steeper climb, but the view from the top is breathtaking. I have had remarkable success helping such students overcome numerous obstacles from helping high school students go from reading at a 5th grade level to on grade level within one academic year to helping kids with mild to moderate Autism write full academic essays, plays, and more!
Assessment & Capstone
At the Simon School assessment is the process through which students improve and master academic concepts and skills, it is not a punitive measure. Assessments help teachers, students and parents discover what has been mastered and what still needs work in an effort to help students reach their academic goals. For this reason students will be given constructive feedback with opportunities to continuously grow academically through a portfolio system.
Each quarter students will create and complete portfolios of their work for each academic semester. Assessment will be conducted within a conference with, parents, instructors, and student as they review portfolios and students "defend" their knowledge acquisition, growth, and mastery. Matriculation from one grade level to the next is dependent on sufficient student growth and mastery of each subject as stand alone subjects, as evidenced in the student portfolio, and as part of an interdisciplinary Project application.
Students will complete semester projects demonstrating the breadth of that term's knowledge acquisition.
Students will complete Projects to demonstrate the breadth of knowledge acquisition per academic year on an individual basis.
Seniors will complete a Capstone project demonstrating the breadth of knowledge acquisition overall